Autoimmune Disease and Hair Loss

Autoimmune diseases affect millions and can cause hair loss.

September is Alopecia Areata Awareness Month. Alopecia areata causes hair loss and affects 7 million Americans and 147 million people worldwide. It’s the third most common type of hair loss. Unlike several other types of hair loss, this condition is caused by a disease. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, for which there’s no known cause.

RHRLI Can Help With All Types of Hair Loss

At RHRLI, we’ve seen clients who deal with all types of hair loss and there are several types of hair loss related to autoimmune diseases. We want you to know all about the relationship between autoimmune conditions and hair loss. And if you’re looking for a permanent solution to your hair loss or thinning hair, we have one. It’s called the ARTAS® system and it uses state of the art robotic technology to give you a fuller, healthier head of hair.

The Basics of Autoimmune Diseases and Alopecia Areata

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system, which is your body’s method of protecting you from disease, turns against itself and attacks healthy cells in your body. It’s not clear what causes any autoimmune diseases. There is evidence that they tend to run in families. And it’s also known that women, particularly African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American women, are more prone to getting them.

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, which can make diagnosing them difficult at times. Some examples include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.

As mentioned above, an autoimmune response is commonly associated with hair loss related to alopecia areata. Patients who have this condition see their body’s immune system attack their hair follicles. The patient’s hair follicles become very small and hair growth begins to stop.  A major symptom of alopecia areata is patchy hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, which says patients often first notice the problem when they see clumps of hair on their pillow or in the shower.

Alopecia areata can come on suddenly, usually on the scalp, but hair loss can occur around the facial area or any part of the body where hair grows.  Some people only lose patches of hair, while others can lose all of their hair. The condition often is not permanent, and about 30 percent of those who have it continually lose and regrow hair.

Other Autoimmune Diseases Related to Hair Loss

Some other autoimmune diseases can also lead to hair loss. Lupus, which affects many different systems of the body, is one of them. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, painful joints, anemia, abnormal blood clotting, and hair loss, according to the website LiveStrong. The disease is usually triggered by environmental factors like exposure to the sun. Hashimoto’s disease, which occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing an underactive thyroid, can also result in hair loss.

RHRLI Will Help With a Permanent Solution to Hair Loss

If you’re suffering from severe alopecia areata or any other condition involving permanent hair loss, RHRLI is the place to turn. We’re the only hair loss treatment center on Long Island that has the ARTAS® system, which is a virtually pain-free procedure. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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